MCU – Early Researcher Award 2024 (Round 18)

Updated Information

 Update May 13, 2024


Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities 


Early Researcher Award

For More Information

See the  ERA program website . See the University of Guelph Resources for ERA Applicants 2024 timeline and resources.

Program Information Sessions

Information session 1:

Information session 2:

Information session 3:

Internal information session:


The Early Researcher Awards program gives funding to build a research team. To be competitive, researchers should demonstrate academic independence from previous supervisors and be actively involved in conducting research that has been supported by peer-reviewed funding.

Applicants must have the approval of their ADR to apply to this program.


You are eligible if you:

  • are a full-time faculty member or principal investigator based at an eligible research institution
  • have started your academic career on or after January 1, 2018 (your first independent position meaning you have the ability to conduct independent research and supervise your own students). 
  • have completed your first Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, Medical Doctor or terminal degree on or after January 1, 2013
  • have not already held an Early Researcher Award
  • are not a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair

Eligible leaves (e.g. parental) can extend the window of eligibility and should be clearly indicated on the CV. ​

Maximum Project Value

Each award to a leading researcher is a maximum of $100,000 and must be matched by an additional $50,000 from the researcher’s institution and/or partner organization.

Indirect Costs

The government will provide up to $40,000 to the university for indirect costs.

Project Duration

Five years

Special Notes

Applicants must have the approval of their ADR to apply this program

  • To be competitive, researchers are encouraged to be actively involved in conducting research that has been supported by peer-reviewed funding and to demonstrate academic independence from previous supervisors.
  • Researchers who are not successful may submit an application, in a later competition, providing they continue to meet all eligibility requirements.
  • ERA panels are multi-disciplinary and the application will be reviewed by panel members that are within and outside the applicant’s specific field of research. The content and language of the proposal should be clear and understood by people outside of the applicant’s field.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The Ministry has committed to making equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) a priority through the integration of EDI principles into ERA funding opportunities. The Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS), through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), defines equity as the removal of systemic barriers and biases, to enact the practice of inclusion so that all individuals have equal access to and can benefit from the program. To achieve this, TIPS states that institutions must embrace diversity, defined as differences in race, colour, place of origin, religion, immigrant and newcomer status, ethic origin, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and age. Recognizing and valuing diversity and equity must be accompanied by concerted efforts to ensure the inclusion of diverse and underrepresented populations. The research project must meaningfully engage members of underrepresented groups within the research team. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, the four designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities, and persons with disabilities). The institution must strive to put in place the right conditions for each individual to reach their full potential.

Please use the Equity, diversity and inclusion requirements and practices guide provided by TIPS to determine how best to address areas of improvement in your work environment and to develop equity, diversity and inclusion action plans.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Colleges submit recommendations to Colleges should submit confirmation that the faculty member is eligible, a CV and a referee spreadsheet. 

Internal Deadline

Final internal deadline for submission of complete package and OR-5.


External Deadline

University submits application to MCU.  

How to Apply

Contact your ADR (copying your CRM) to express your interest in the program. 

For Questions, please contact

Office of Research

Patricia Van Asten, Awards & Agreements Officer, Strategic Research Programs
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x56927

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